Coronavirus: LA and San Diego to shut schools until April

Los Angeles has second largest school district in nation with approximately half a million students

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Friday 13 March 2020 17:23 GMT
Los Angeles and San Diego Unified School Districts have decided to close from Monday in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus
Los Angeles and San Diego Unified School Districts have decided to close from Monday in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus (PIXABAY (PUBLIC DOMAIN))

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Louise Thomas

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Los Angeles and San Diego Unified School Districts, the two largest districts in California, have announced that they will close on Monday, 16 March, to stop the potential spread of the coronavirus.

There are tentative plans to reopen on 6 April.

Los Angeles’ school district is the second largest in the nation, with 900 campuses serving approximately half a million students. As yet, no cases of coronavirus have been linked to students or faculty within the district.

The Los Angeles Times reports that district officials said they will continue meal programmes and offer televised and online lessons.

Superintendent Austin Beutner of Los Angeles and Superintendent Cindy Marten of San Diego issued a joint statement announcing the decision: “There is evidence the virus is already present in the communities we serve, and our efforts now must be aimed at preventing its spread. We believe closing the state’s two largest school districts will make an important contribution to this effort. For that reason, we plan to close, effective Monday, March 16.

“Later today, we will be providing students, parents and staff with more information on our plans to continue providing learning opportunities for students during the closure. We have also directed staff at both districts to prepare to continue providing nutrition and other support through family resource facilities.”

Other districts across California have also decided to close, including San Francisco Unified, several districts in Ventura County and Elk Grove Unified in Northern California, which was the first in the state to shut down.

Numerous private schools and Catholic institutions have also closed.

Elsewhere, the governors of Ohio, Maryland, New Mexico and Michigan have already closed all public schools in their states.​

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